Mississippi State University Acquires the Janice Cleary Sheet Music Collection

Mississippi State University Libraries has announced that it has acquired the Janice Cleary Sheet Music Collection. A resident of Omaha, Nebraska, Cleary assembled one of the largest sheet music collections in the United States, spanning over 175 years and containing nearly 50,000 pieces featuring a wide variety of composers including George Gershwin, Eubie Blake, Charles L. Johnson, Cole Porter, Henry Mancini, Jerry Herman and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

With this recent acquisition, Mississippi State becomes one of the largest sheet music repositories in the United States.

Jeff Barnhart, an internationally renowned pianist, ragtime entertainer and artistic director of the Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival at Mississippi State University, started that “Janice Cleary, who is still with us at the age of 95, couldn’t read a stitch of music but enjoyed the way her collection brought people together to perform, listen to and enjoy pieces found therein. She also wanted to be sure her collection would be shared by as many people as possible into perpetuity,”

“Mrs. Cleary did a fantastic job of preserving the collection, and we look forward to exploring it more in the days to come,” said Stephen Cunetto, associate dean of libraries at Mississippi State University. The Cleary collection will be housed in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Special Collections.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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